[Beowulf] oil immersion cooled blades

Nathan Moore ntmoore at gmail.com
Fri Mar 16 00:47:59 EDT 2012


If you take a cm^3 of space, right next to the cpu and fill it either with
air, or with oil, you'll have many, many, more atomic/molecular degrees of
freedom to fill with energy in the cm^3 of oil.  Getting that energy out of
the cooling medium seems primarily like a fluid-flow problem -  given oil's
higher heat capacity, you can leave it around something hot, and still have
it serve as an effective heat sink for a longer period of time than you can
with air.  My point is, the fan for the air has to run much faster than the
oil pump for the oil coolant.

I'm too young for this, but didn't VW and Porche cool some of their engines
with oil through the early 1980's?


On Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 10:47 PM, Mark Hahn <hahn at mcmaster.ca> wrote:

> >> I guess I'm a bit skeptical about the utility of this approach -
> >> would be nice if they had some technical literature.  something about
> >> thermal resistance.  define how the oil bath dumps the heat (water
> >> hookups in the back?)  comparison to modern heatpipe-based solutions,
> etc.
> >
> > No need for water hookups. You can circulate the oil through an oil to
> > air heat exchanger. That's what those green cooing guys at the SC
>
> is that really better than going to air directly?
> I guess I'd like to see the the numbers - to my way of thinking,
> it's almost all about the thermal resistance.  transferring heat to oil,
> then to air, means two stages of resistance.  using oil would permit
> a bigger air interface, though I suppose.
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Nathan Moore
Associate Professor, Physics
Winona State University
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